The Lyrids is a meteor shower that takes place from April 16th to April 26th of this year, with its peak being around April 22nd. The Lyrids meteor shower is named for the constellation Lyra, with it’s radiant point originating from the constellation’s brightest star, Alpha Lyrae, otherwise known as Vega.
Magickal workings that would be appropriate to perform during the Lyrids meteor shower include those having to do with:
Immortality of the soul
It is said that the first lyre ever made was given to Orpheus by Hermes as a bargain. The music produced by this lyre was so great that even inanimate objects could be charmed by it.
“At one point, Orpheus married Eurydice, a nymph. While fleeing from an attack by Aristaeus, she stepped on a snake that bit her, killing her. To reclaim her, Orpheus entered the Underworld, where the music from his lyre charmed Hades. Hades relented and let Orpheus bring Eurydice back, on the condition that he never once look back until outside. Unfortunately, near the very end, Orpheus faltered and looked back, causing Eurydice to be left in the Underworld forever. Orpheus spent the rest of his life strumming his lyre while wandering aimlessly through the land, rejecting all marriage offers from women.”
Spirit work - Aconite (Wolfsbane, Monkshood), Apple, Bay Laurel, Birch, Cedar, Copal, Cypress, Elder, Lavender, Mandrake, Marigold, Mugwort, Mullein, Pomegranate, Thyme, Tobacco, Willow, Wormwood, Yew
Enchanting - *The herb will depend on the type of enchantment you are performing*
In the words of Captain Fanzone, the police drones were going “batshit crazy”. Optimus didn’t even know why, nor did he have a moment to ask. He took out about a fourth of the drone swarm, but the Autobot had to duck behind a damaged trash bot as the drones rained bullets upon him. Quickly, and without revealing himself too much, Optimus reached into the trash and slammed some of it into a nearby drone. That took out one, but it didn’t do much to the group as a whole.
“Attention Autobots! I need assistance near the police station! Repeat! I need assistance by the- OW!” Optimus’s transmission was interrupted by a bullet digging into his arm. He cursed and ducked down, trying to think of a plan.
The femme had paused her work, one servo leaning up to touch a datapad softly. Her servo caressed the metal like a creator with his or her new born sparkling. Green optics saddened, staring at what the datapad held permanently in its data banks. A picture of a small sparkling.. frame stockily built, even for a sparkling. The color of the frame was brown, almost a tan color.. Orange streaked along the plating here and there.. A representation that Starfire had carried this little one once. His eyes were a bright yellow, like his sires.. A sire Starfire was not proud of.. Her memories seemed to place herself in that time.. The time where her spark felt full with that little one. The sparkling that always stay under her pedes as she worked, and even attempted to help. She was so proud of him, an intelligent little being. Her little bitlet.. She could remember the soft coos he spoke to her in..
The answer never came, no matter how hard as she prayed to Primus for an answer. She remembered the day her Ex-mate came.. He was not the mech she remembered as he took the life of the sparkling.. The sparkling that cried for it’s creator.. Starfire fought like the whole of Team Prime to get to him.. Her Ex-mate’s forces still too strong.. She had almost lost her own spark, had it not been for the team finding her again.
Her she is.. alone in her medical bay, still so young, but so broken sparked..
Kepler satellite discovers variability in the Seven Sisters
The Seven Sisters, as they were known to the ancient Greeks, are now known to modern astronomers as the Pleiades star cluster - a set of stars which are visible to the naked eye and have been studied for thousands of years by cultures all over the world.
Now Dr Tim White of the Stellar Astrophysics Centre at Aarhus University and his team of Danish and international astronomers have demonstrated a powerful new technique for observing stars such as these, which are ordinarily far too bright to look at with high performance telescopes. Their work is published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Using a new algorithm to enhance observations from the Kepler Space Telescope in its K2 Mission, the team has performed the most detailed study yet of the variability of these stars.
Satellites such as Kepler are engineered to search for planets orbiting distant stars by looking for the dip in brightness as the planets pass in front, and also to do asteroseismology, studying the structure and evolution of stars as revealed by changes in their brightness.
Because the Kepler mission was designed to look at thousands of faint stars at a time, some of the brightest stars are actually too bright to observe.
Aiming a beam of light from a bright star at a point on a camera detector will cause the central pixels of the star’s image to be saturated, which causes a very significant loss of precision in the measurement of the total brightness of the star. This is the same process which causes a loss of dynamic range on ordinary digital cameras, which cannot see faint and bright detail in the same exposure.
“The solution to observing bright stars with Kepler turned out to be rather simple,” said lead author Dr Tim White. “We’re chiefly concerned about relative, rather than absolute, changes in brightness. We can just measure these changes from nearby unsaturated pixels, and ignore the saturated areas altogether.”
But changes in the satellite’s motion and slight imperfections in the detector can still hide the signal of stellar variability. To overcome this, the authors developed a new technique to weight the contribution of each pixel to find the right balance where instrumental effects are cancelled out, revealing the true stellar variability. This new method has been named halo photometry, a simple and fast algorithm the authors have released as free open-source software.
Most of the seven stars are revealed to be slowly-pulsating B stars, a class of variable star in which the star’s brightness changes with day-long periods. The frequencies of these pulsations are key to exploring some of the poorly understood processes in the core of these stars.
The seventh star, Maia, is different: it varies with a regular period of 10 days. Previous studies have shown that Maia belongs to a class of stars with abnormal surface concentrations of some chemical elements such as manganese. To see if these things were related, a series of spectroscopic observations were taken with the Hertzsprung SONG Telescope.
“What we saw was that the brightness changes seen by Kepler go hand-in-hand with changes in the strength of manganese absorption in Maia’s atmosphere,” said Dr Victoria Antoci, a co-author of the work and Assistant Professor at the Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Aarhus University. “We conclude that the variations are caused by a large chemical spot on the surface of the star, which comes in and out of view as the star rotates with a ten day period.”
“Sixty years ago, astronomers had thought they could see variability in Maia with periods of a few hours and suggested this was the first of a whole new class of variable stars they called ‘Maia Variables’,” White said, “but our new observations show that Maia is not itself a Maia Variable!”
No signs of exoplanetary transits were detected in this study, but the authors show that their new algorithm can attain the precision that will be needed for Kepler and future space telescopes such as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to detect planets transiting stars as bright as our neighbouring star Alpha Centauri.
These nearby bright stars are the best targets for future missions and facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope, which is due to launch in late 2018.
TOP IMAGE….This image from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft shows members of the Pleiades star cluster taken during Campaign 4 of the K2 Mission. The cluster stretches across two of the 42 charge-coupled devices (CCDs) that make up Kepler’s 95 megapixel camera. The brightest stars in the cluster – Alcyone, Atlas, Electra, Maia, Merope, Taygeta, and Pleione – are visible to the naked eye. Kepler was not designed to look at stars this bright; they cause the camera to saturate, leading to long spikes and other artifacts in the image. Despite this serious image degradation, the new technique has allowed astronomers to carefully measure changes in brightness of these stars as the Kepler telescope observed them for almost three months. Credit: NASA / Aarhus University / T. White
LOWER IMAGE….The unique brightness fluctuations of each star reveal clues about their physical properties such as their size and rotation rate. Most of the bright stars in the Pleiades are a type of variable star called a slowly pulsating B star, but Maia is different, and shows evidence of a large chemical spot that crosses its surface as the star rotates with a 10-day period. Credit: Aarhus University / T. White
Your last sweetlycurious hurt my heart, so naturally I want to add more pain to it: maybe Obi-Wan's vision is coming sooner than he thought, regardless of whether he's bonded with Cody or not. So Cody gets badly hurt when they're stuck somewhere together (but please don't kill him?)
The sterile smell of the medbay had become familiar enough to no
longer bother him as he sat by the bed, staring at the hand in his
grasp, taking in the tanned skin and the tubes and wires currently
sticking to it.
“I would be good to you.”
The words rang in Obi-Wan’s head along with the quiet peeping of
“General Skywalker is right, I would be good to you.”
He couldn’t unhear them since the damn battle, the bolts of
blasters slamming around them, the sound of bombs falling, the scream
of metal twisting and his own men yelling…
“I would be good to you.”
Obi-Wan wasn’t sure when Cody had overheard him and Anakin but the
clone trooper agreed… and Obi-Wan had shot him down with regs and
rules, had told him that in the current situation that it was not
possible an outcome and that Obi-Wan was not looking for an alpha
And then Cody had taken a barrage of blasters, straight on, standing
over Obi-Wan’s fallen body and was barely alive.
The armor had taken most of the impact but…
Obi-Wan might lose his commander, the omega might lose a potential
alpha and it hurt so bad. His stomach squirmed and ached and he had
no desire for food the rest of the troopers had tried to get him to
At least he drank the spiked tea Helix gave him, getting a few hours
of rest as he sat by Cody’s bedside.
“…Please wake up.” Obi-Wan whispered, running his thumb over
the back of the others hand, gently skirting around the needle and
wires. “I… I don’t know what to do if I lose you Cody.” He
No response except for the soft fall and rise of Cody’s chest.
Obi-Wan sighed and rubbed the hand some more with his fingers, taking
in the tiny freckles hidden in all that gorgeous dark skin of the
alpha with a small smile.
Slowly he traced the tiny constellation of freckles and let his mind
fade himself out as he let that be his main focus, the color of
caramel beneath his touch and warm skin. Therefor he almost had a
small heart attack when he looked up to see Cody’s eyes open and
focused on him with a small wry smile on his face.
To his relief, Cody said nothing.
He only tightened his hand on the others hand before slowly shifting
to the edge of the bed, watching Obi-Wan while holding onto his hand.
Swallowing a bit, the Jedi slowly followed the silent request and
crawled into bed with the trooper. Cautious and gingerly so not to
put pressure on any bruises, he settled as close as he dared while
peering at Cody.
Rolling his eyes, Cody slid his arm around the other and pulled him
close, grunting a bit but quite obviously more content at the
closeness as he nosed at Obi-Wan’s hair for a few moments before
relaxing into his bed, eyes closing with a tight grip around the
“…I know you’re scared… but you’re not going to lose me
that easily. Cause I’ll fight tooth and nail to get back to you,
ner omega, ner jetii, ner cyare.” Cody murmured quietly, rubbing
the others back carefully.
Squeezing down on Cody’s hand slowly, Obi-Wan breathed out hard.
“Ner alpha.” He whispered.
The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaked before dawn on April 22nd, as our planet plowed through dust from the tail of long-period comet Thatcher. Seen from the high, dark, and dry Atacama desert a waning crescent Moon and brilliant Venus join Lyrid meteor streaks in this composited view. Captured over 5 hours on the night of April 21/22, the meteors stream away from the shower’s radiant, a point not very far on the sky from Vega, alpha star of the constellation Lyra.
In the foreground are domes of the Las Campanas Observatory housing (left to right) the 2.5 meter du Pont Telescope and the 1.3 meter Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) telescope.